Kinarus Explores Partnership in China to Support Its Phase 2 Trials

Company seeks funds to test its KIN001 therapy for IPF and chronic eye disorder

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by Mary Chapman |

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Kinarus Therapeutics and the Great Health Companion Group (GHCG) in China are exploring a partnership to fund further development of KIN001, Kinarus’ potential treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Switzerland-based Kinarus and GHCG, a subsidiary of global China conglomerate Hakim Unique Group, are also looking into ways to fund Phase 2 clinical trials testing KIN001 for the treatment of IPF, as well as wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD), a chronic eye disorder.

The two also plan to pursue other business opportunities that may include licensing or strategic partnerships. Multiple opportunities exist for KIN001 in conditions with high unmet need in the Chinese market, according to Kinarus.

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High unmet medical needs in China due to vast aging population

“China’s economic growth has increased their ability to invest heavily in innovation technology, infrastructure and healthcare for their population,” Alexander Bausch, PhD, Kinarus’ CEO, said in a press release.

“Because of their vast aging population, healthcare demands require public and private organizations both domestic and internationally to collaborate to achieve mutual success,” Bausch said. “Furthermore Chinese partners have historically shown strong interest in Phase 2 clinical assets with proven potential to address unmet medical needs in China. KIN001 meets these criteria and for this reason, we are pleased to engage GHCG to represent us in China.”

Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease marked by scarring — fibrosis — of the lungs, which causes shortness of breath. When the exact cause of lung scarring is unknown, the disorder is classified as idiopathic — “of unknown cause” — pulmonary fibrosis.

KIN001 targets multiple underlying mechanisms of IPF progression, reducing irreversible fibrosis levels and respiratory capacity loss. It’s a patented combination of pamapimod, a small molecule inhibitor of a signaling pathway that has been implicated in fibrosis and inflammation, and pioglitazone, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes.

Protocol development for the Phase 2 clinical trial has been completed, and regulatory submissions are expected following the launch of the wAMD clinical trial in Switzerland and Germany. KIN001 is also being studied as a possible treatment for acute and long COVID-19.

“Kinarus is prepared to launch Phase 2 trials in wAMD and IPF, and is currently conducting a Phase 2 trial of KIN001 in ambulatory COVID-19 patients aiming to reduce severity and duration of symptoms,” Bausch said. “We look forward to working closely with GHCG as we seek to accelerate the clinical development of KIN001 and to maximize the value and opportunities it represents.”

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